Approved by Faculty Senate 3-27-03
The College of Science Tenure Policy supplements the basic tenure policies of Weber State University as outlined in the WSU Policy and Procedures Manual (PPM) Sections 8 and 9. Candidates and evaluators are expected to know and comply with the PPM policies relating to tenure as well as with the more specific policies and explanations listed herein.
The purpose of tenure and the procedure employed in its being granted to eligible faculty are identified in PPM, 8-11 to 8-27 (Tenure). Faculty are expected to become thoroughly versed with this portion of the PPM as well as with Section 9 dealing with Academic Freedom, Rights, Responsibilities, and Due Process.
Professors deal in ideas, and as such, they must be completely free to explore and expound without the ever-present threat of capricious dismissal in response to community anger or administrative bias. Additionally, while tenure is not a guarantee of employment, following the granting of tenure the burden of proof shifts from the faculty member to show competence to the institution to show incompetence.
Credentials: Candidates would normally be teaching faculty, who are expected to have at least half-time teaching responsibilities but who could have other assignments agreed to, in writing, by the Department Chair and the Dean. The basic minimum degree requirement is the attainment of the earned Ph.D. in the discipline of primary responsibility. Exceptions involving a closely related discipline or another doctorate must be considered carefully by the various evaluators at the time of hiring and be approved in writing at that time, following the policies in PPM 8-11. The probationary period is explained in PPM 8-23 and 8-24. Candidates who are given credit towards tenure through service at other institutions shall provide documentation concerning their activities at those institutions.
The four specific criteria upon which evaluation of the candidate is made appear below. Additional details of each criterion can be found in PPM 8-11 and should be consulted.
Candidates should clarify their roles, their responsibilities and the extent of their own work in all activities. The nature of some activities is such that it is hard either to classify them or to judge them. Directing student research, for example, involves teaching but may also involve significant research by a candidate. Similarly, a funded grant may qualify as scholarship or as service. In like manner, evaluators may not be familiar with the workload connected with some committees. Candidates should try to classify their work but should be aware that committees may reclassify it based on the available evidence.
Keeping current on new developments in the candidate's discipline, areas of specialization, and areas of curricular responsibilities is expected. The candidate must provide evidence of continued professional development while at Weber State University. The quality and significance of these activities as well as the quantity should be documented by the candidate and considered by the evaluators. See PPM 8-11 for more details. The normal expectation is that the majority of the required scholarship, teaching, and service contributions be accomplished after the candidate has arrived at WSU. Exceptions could include contractual agreements made at the time of hiring and years granted towards tenure for work done elsewhere.
The candidate's teaching competency and effectiveness will be systematically evaluated by students, peers, and administrators. A high degree of success in effectively teaching current and accurate information and in assessing the student's mastery of the course materials is required, using methods appropriate to the courses taught. Although the candidate's academic freedom in the choice of teaching methods is specifically recognized, the candidate will be evaluated on the basis of overall effectiveness in the teaching of the subject at the appropriate level for the course. In all cases such instruction should be consistent with the approved course syllabi, lead to fulfilling the department curriculum objectives, and fulfill faculty responsibilities to students (PPM 9-5). Also see PPM 8-11 for more details.
Scholarship that may be applied toward tenure would normally satisfy the three criteria listed below. Any activity meeting these criteria could be considered as scholarship for tenure.
1. The activity includes an external peer review of original material created by the candidate;
2. there is a final product or outcome directly related to the reviewed material in (1); and
3. the final product or outcome in (2) constitutes a creative contribution to the candidate’s field of interest and/or area of assignment (including education and pedagogy).
The following policy establishes 2 categories of professional activities. Category I consists of professional activities that do satisfy the criteria above; examples of items normally included in Category I are (1) research published in refereed journals, (2) publication of textbooks, manuals and other media which were subject to critical editorial review and formal acceptance procedures, and (3) patents. Category II consists of professional activities that may or may not satisfy the criteria above; examples of items normally included in Category II are (4) authoring invited papers and presentations, (5) grants, (6) consulting, (7) supervised student research, (8) authoring contributed papers and presentations, and (9) publication of in-house books and manuals. The candidate is responsible for documenting each item of scholarship in Categories I and II, and explaining its significance as well as his or her role in accomplishing it.
The candidate is expected to provide professionally related service to students, departments, college, university, and community by taking advantage of opportunities to serve effectively in activities such as: (1) student advisement, (2) department, college, and university committees, task forces, and projects, (3) professionally-related community activities, (4) participation in professional organizations, and (5) administrative service. The quality and significance of these activities as well as the quantity should be documented and considered. All levels of service (department, college, university, professional, and administrative) will be given equal consideration based on their merits. See PPM 8-11 for more details.
D. Professional Ethics:
The ethical canons, standards of behavior, and philosophy in the PPM Section 9 (Academic Freedom, Rights, Responsibilities, and Due Process) are specifically endorsed, and candidates and evaluators shall consider these to be general criteria for evaluation. Serious deficiencies of a candidate in one or more of these areas shall result in a "no" rating in this category. In turn, a "no" rating must be documented by the evaluators.
Faculty responsibilities that are the product of ethical principles and statements of professional behavior may be delineated in terms of responsibility to self and profession, to students, to colleagues, to the university, and to the community. See PPM 9-3 to 9-8 for important details.
The candidates for tenure will be evaluated in each of the above categories according to the following definitions and methods:
A. Definition of Rating Categories:
Candidates must satisfy the minimum degree requirements (PPM 8-11) and the probationary period (PPM 8-23).
Rankings in each of the first three major criteria above will be made according to the categories of "unsatisfactory," "satisfactory," "good," and "excellent." Ranking of the criterion of Professional Ethics will be made by simply indicating "yes" or "no." The guidelines for each of these rating categories are listed below.
Unsatisfactory: This rating, shall be given to a candidate who does not meet the requirements of the "satisfactory" category.
Satisfactory: The performance of the candidates will be rated "satisfactory" if the usual and normal duties required of all faculty members are performed in an acceptable manner. The candidate must complete assigned duties and share in the unassigned workload of the department, college, and university. At a minimum, one item of Category I scholarship is normally required to obtain a satisfactory rating in scholarship. However, if items from Category II are to be substituted, the burden of proof that they are equivalent falls upon the candidate. Normally, candidates will receive a "satisfactory" rating if the consensus rating of students (teaching category only), peers, and supervisors is satisfactory. Patterns of improvement should be viewed in a positive manner.
Good: "Good" means better than "satisfactory." Inasmuch as "satisfactory" means acceptable performance, a rating of "good" implies a performance substantially above and beyond the "satisfactory" level. Normally, candidates will receive a "good" rating if the consensus rating of students (teaching category only), peers, and supervisors is good. Patterns of improvement should be viewed in a positive manner.
Excellent: "Excellent" means outstanding performance. Inasmuch as a "good" rating implies a substantial degree of performance above "satisfactory," a rating of "excellent" implies a performance significantly above that performance considered appropriate for a "good" rating. Normally, candidates will receive an "excellent" rating if the consensus rating of students (teaching category only), peers, and supervisors is excellent. Patterns of improvement should be viewed in a positive manner.
B. Method of Evaluation:
1. In order to achieve tenure, the candidate must satisfy the minimum degree and probationary period requirements, exhibit ethical behavior, and must qualify with at least the minimum standards in one of the following channels:
Channel Teaching Scholarship Service 1 Excellent Good Satisfactory 2 Excellent Satisfactory Good 3 Good Good Good 4 Good Excellent Satisfactory 5 Good Satisfactory Excellent
2. The composition, selection, and operation of department and college tenure committees shall be governed by the specific provisions of the PPM relating to the granting of tenure (PPM 8-15 and 8-16).
3. A majority vote of the committee members (including the vote of the committee chair) shall determine a committee's recommendation. The committee will base its decision on all available evidence, including, but not limited to, evaluations by students (teaching category only), peers, and supervisors; reports of classroom visits; copies of publications; documentation, where credit is given toward tenure; and the candidate's professional files. A candidate should not expect a committee to take into account information that is not well-documented in the file.
4. All evaluative committees or individuals will attach a letter to the Tenure Evaluation Summary Form detailing reasons for the recommendations.